How Much Does It Cost To Make A Mobile App?

Aysha Bilal

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Mobile App?

Have you ever had an idea for a mobile app but found yourself wondering how much it would cost to create it? Or maybe you’re a business owner looking to expand your reach through a mobile app but aren’t sure where to start when it comes to budgeting for app development costs. Whatever your situation, understanding the costs involved in developing and maintaining a mobile app is crucial to launching your app successfully.

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the mobile app development costs you need to consider. We’ll explore the various factors that influence app development costs, from hiring an app developer to creating a mobile app budget. We’ll also provide an app cost calculator and a breakdown of the costs of making an app for both iOS and Android platforms.

Whether you’re a startup looking to launch your first app or an established business seeking to go mobile, our expert insights will help you get your mobile app development costs under control. So, let’s dive in and discover how much it really costs to make an app.

Mobile App Development Budget Template

When it comes to creating a mobile app, it’s important to have a solid budget in place to avoid unexpected costs and ensure the success of your project. To help you get started, we’ve created a mobile app development budget template that outlines the key cost factors you need to consider.

Use this template to plan your project and estimate your mobile apps development costs

Creating a mobile app can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000, but with proper planning and a skilled development team, you can achieve a successful app that offers a positive return on investment. The mobile app market is growing rapidly, with projections of reaching $1 trillion by 2023.

Businesses and entrepreneurs have a substantial opportunity to tap into this expanding market. Mobile apps have become integral to daily life, offering various functions, from shopping to entertainment. A well-designed app can boost customer engagement, brand recognition, and revenue. To stand out in this competitive landscape, your app must deliver genuine value and a superior user experience.

Success hinges on a clear plan, understanding your audience, and an experienced development team. Utilizing a mobile app development budget template can help keep your project within budget. With the right resources and approach, you can transform your app idea into a reality and thrive in the mobile app market.

The key to creating a successful mobile app is to have a clear understanding of your mobile app’s development costs and to plan your project accordingly. Use our mobile app development budget template to estimate your costs and ensure that your app project stays within your budget. With the right planning, resources, and expertise, you can turn your app idea into a reality and achieve success in the competitive mobile app market.

How Much Does It Cost To Create An App Worldwide? 

When embarking on mobile app development, cost considerations are paramount. The expense of app development varies significantly based on factors like app complexity, development platform, and geographical location. On a global scale, the average cost to develop an app stands at approximately $70,000. However, regional disparities are notable, with North America registering significantly higher costs, averaging around $150,000, in contrast to Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, where costs are notably lower, hovering at an average of around $30,000.

It’s crucial to understand that these figures represent averages, and actual app development costs can deviate considerably, contingent on several elements. The complexity of the app is a major factor, as more intricate apps typically demand greater development time and resources, thereby elevating costs. Opting to develop for both iOS and Android or employing advanced development tools can also drive up expenses.

To give you a better idea of the costs of app development, here's a table that outlines the average app development costs in different regions.

Therefore, it’s essential to acknowledge that these figures serve as rough estimates. The actual cost of app development hinges on various determinants, such as the app’s intricacy, the platforms it targets, its features, the technology employed, and the location where it’s created. Despite these variations, understanding the average app development costs in different regions can aid in budget planning and making informed choices when selecting an app development partner. Thorough research ensures that you receive optimal value for your investment, ultimately resulting in a high-quality app that fulfills your business requirements and stands out in the competitive app market.

How Much Does An App Cost To Create: Time And Money Issues

App development involves critical considerations of time and money. The cost of creating an app can fluctuate substantially, influenced by factors such as complexity, features, platform, technology, and development region. Research indicates that app development costs can span from $10,000 to over $500,000, contingent on the project’s scale and intricacy. Simplistic apps might range from $25,000 to $40,000, whereas more intricate ones can cost between $100,000 and $500,000.

Several variables come into play when determining app development costs. The chosen platform is a pivotal factor; iOS development often commands a higher cost due to stringent guidelines and specialized tools. App complexity is another factor – those with intricate features or data processing requirements incur higher costs. Moreover, the location of the development team influences expenses, with North America and Europe typically demanding higher hourly rates compared to regions like Asia or Latin America. As such, outsourcing to lower-cost areas is a cost-effective option.

To help businesses plan their app development budget, we've created a table that breaks down the cost and timeframes for developing different types of apps.

Time is another critical aspect impacting app development costs. On average, it takes three to nine months to create a high-quality app, though this period can vary based on team size, technology, and complexity.

It’s important to recognize that these figures are averages, and actual costs and timeframes can vary. Thus, a clear understanding of these estimates helps businesses plan their app development budget effectively, ensuring optimal value for their investment. Ultimately, app development requires meticulous consideration of cost, time, and the selection of the right development team to align with business objectives.

App Cost Calculator To Estimate Your Development Spending

Estimating app development costs is challenging, especially for beginners, but online tools like BuildFire Cost Calculator and Clutch App Development Cost Calculator can assist. These calculators consider factors like platform, features, and complexity to provide rough cost estimates. For instance, a comprehensive app for both iOS and Android with advanced features might range from $28,000 to $56,000. Similarly, a simple app could cost around $10,000, while a complex one may exceed $100,000. However, these estimates are rough, as actual costs depend on factors such as team expertise and project specifics. Despite this, these calculators offer a helpful starting point, aiding effective project planning and decision-making regarding app features and scope.

What Effects Mobile Application Costs 

A range of factors determines the cost of mobile app development. Chief among these is the app’s complexity, which includes its feature set, the platform for which it’s intended, and the nature of its functionality. Additional cost influencers encompass the location and expertise of the development team, project duration, and expenses associated with testing, maintenance, and updates.

Moreover, the app’s design and user interface (UI) significantly impact costs. A well-designed app with a user-friendly experience typically commands a higher price than a simpler, less elaborate design. Custom graphics, icons, and visual elements further contribute to project costs. The choice of development platform is yet another critical determinant; developing for iOS or Android incurs distinct costs, and expenses can rise if the app targets multiple platforms. These collective factors are central in shaping the overall cost of mobile app development.

App complexity

The more complex an app, the more time and resources it will require to develop, which can increase the overall cost of the project. Factors that can contribute to complexity include the number of features, the type of app (native, hybrid, or web), and the need for custom design and functionality.

Development team location

The location of the development team can have a significant impact on the cost of developing an app. For example, the average hourly rate for app developers in North America and Western Europe is significantly higher than in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Platform choice

The cost of developing an app can also be affected by the platform chosen for development. Developing an app for both iOS and Android will require more time and resources than developing for just one platform.

Third-party integrations

If your app requires integration with third-party services, such as payment gateways or social media platforms, the cost of development will increase.

App maintenance

App maintenance is an ongoing cost that should be factored into your budget. Maintenance costs can include updates to address bugs, add new features, and keep up with changes to the operating system or third-party services.

An iOS Or Android App Development Cost: Choosing The Platform

Choosing between iOS and Android for your mobile app has a significant impact on development costs. On average, developing an iOS app tends to be more expensive than an Android app due to the complexity and higher level of expertise required. iOS app development is also more time-consuming, given Apple’s stringent guidelines and the need to adhere to their Human Interface Guidelines. Costs for iOS apps can range from $38,000 to $171,000, contingent on complexity, features, and customization.

Conversely, developing an Android app is generally less costly, with expenses ranging from $25,000 to $150,000. Android apps are typically less complex, making the development process more straightforward. However, costs can vary based on app complexity and customization requirements.

Developing for both platforms incurs additional costs, which can range from $75,000 to $500,000 or more. The choice between iOS and Android depends on your specific business needs and target audience. iOS is favored for affluent audiences and sophisticated features, while Android may be preferable for broader audiences and customization options. Keep in mind that app development costs can fluctuate based on various factors, including complexity, required features, and necessary expertise. Your choice should align with your unique requirements and available resources. Audience preferences and the ease of implementing desired features on a specific platform should also influence your decision.

How Much Does It Cost to Create An App: Total Cost

Creating a mobile app is a complex and multifaceted process that involves a wide range of factors, including design, development, testing, and deployment. As a result, the total cost of creating an app can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the project and the specific requirements of the client.

According to recent research, the total cost of creating a mobile app can range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more. On average, the cost of developing a simple app can range from $25,000 to $40,000, while the cost of developing a more complex app can range from $100,000 to $500,000.

It’s important to note that these figures are only averages, and the actual cost of creating an app can be influenced by a range of factors, including:

App Features

The more features an app has, the more time and money it will take to develop. Complex features like augmented reality, machine learning, and custom animations can significantly increase the cost of an app.


The design of an app is a crucial aspect of its success. The more attention that is paid to design, the better the user experience will be. However, this can also increase the cost of development.

Development Team

The experience and location of the development team can also impact the cost of creating an app. Developers in North America and Western Europe tend to be more expensive, while those in Eastern Europe and Asia tend to be less expensive.

Testing and Deployment

Once the app is developed, it needs to be tested and deployed to various app stores. This can add additional costs to the overall development process.

Maintenance and Updates

Once the app is launched, ongoing maintenance and updates will be necessary to keep it running smoothly. These costs should also be factored into the overall cost of creating an app.

By carefully considering these factors and working with a reputable app development company, businesses and entrepreneurs can create successful apps that provide value to their users.

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Mobile App?

Mobile App Development Cost For Some Famous Startups

Developing a mobile app is a substantial investment for startups, but it’s a crucial step for remaining competitive in the modern digital world. Examining the development costs of renowned startups provides valuable insights into what it takes to create successful apps:

  1. Uber: Uber’s app, known for its seamless user experience, cost approximately $1.5 million. This includes expenses for both iOS and Android versions, along with backend development.
  2. Snapchat: The social media platform Snapchat invested around $4.5 million in its app development.
  3. Instagram: Initially developed for iOS and later for Android, Instagram’s app had a development cost of roughly $500,000.
  4. Airbnb: Airbnb, the accommodation-sharing platform, spent about $5.5 million on its app, which enables users to book and manage their stays.

These examples highlight the wide variation in app development costs, dependent on project complexity, required features, and the development team’s expertise. Notably, startups with limited budgets can still achieve success through effective strategy and execution.

It’s essential to recognize that these figures represent initial development costs, and ongoing maintenance and updates can add to the overall expense. While the costs may seem daunting, they illustrate the potential return on investment that a well-designed and functional mobile app can yield.

Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown: PDF Estimations

When it comes to mobile app development, understanding the cost breakdown can help you make informed decisions and create a budget plan. By breaking down the costs into different categories, you can identify where the majority of your spending will go and adjust accordingly.

Here is a breakdown of the different costs involved in mobile app development:

  1. Design costs: This includes the cost of creating wireframes, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design, graphic design, and visual assets for the app. On average, design costs can account for 20-30% of the total app development cost.
  2. Development costs: This includes the cost of coding and programming the app, as well as integrating any necessary third-party tools and features. Development costs can account for 50-70% of the total app development cost.
  3. Testing costs: This includes the cost of testing the app for bugs, errors, and usability issues. Testing costs can account for 10-20% of the total app development cost.
  4. Deployment costs: This includes the cost of submitting the app to the app store, as well as any ongoing maintenance and updates. Deployment costs can account for 5-10% of the total app development cost.

It’s important to note that these cost breakdowns can vary depending on the complexity of your app and the level of expertise required for development. To get a more accurate estimation of the cost breakdown for your specific app, you may want to consult with a professional app development company or use a cost estimation tool.

Cost Of Maintaining An App

Maintaining a mobile app is a crucial ongoing responsibility that carries its own set of costs. The expenses associated with app maintenance can vary based on factors like the app’s complexity and the need for regular updates and enhancements to ensure smooth operation.

Industry research suggests that the cost of maintaining an app can amount to 15% to 20% of the total development cost each year. For instance, if your app’s development cost was $100,000, you should anticipate spending $15,000 to $20,000 annually on maintenance.

It’s important to recognize that app maintenance is a continual and long-term expenditure, necessitating budget planning over the app’s lifecycle. This includes covering expenses related to resolving bugs or technical issues and incorporating new features to keep the app competitive in the market.

To manage app maintenance costs effectively, collaborating with a development team that provides ongoing support and maintenance services is advisable. This ensures that your app remains up-to-date and operates at its best, offering a predictable cost structure that can be budgeted over time.

Factors Affecting App Maintenance

Beyond maintenance, consider the costs associated with marketing and promoting your app to reach your target audience. Strategies such as social media advertising, influencer marketing, and app store optimization can enhance visibility and drive app downloads.

App maintenance costs are subject to various factors, including app complexity, development team size, target audience, and the app’s platform. Common contributors to maintenance costs include:

  1. Bug fixes and updates, which range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars annually.
  2.  Server hosting and maintenance costs, which can vary from $50 to $500 per month, are contingent on hosting type and user base size.
  3. App store fees, such as Apple’s $99 annual fee for app publishing.
  4. Security and compliance expenses, covering security measures and legal compliance, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year.
  5. Analytics and monitoring tools to track app performance, with costs varying from a few hundred to several thousand dollars annually.

Outsourcing or Local Development: What To Choose 

This is a common dilemma for many business owners and entrepreneurs. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s important to carefully consider them before making a decision.

Outsourcing app development can often be a cost-effective option, as developers from countries with lower labor costs may offer lower rates. According to Clutch, the average hourly rate for app development in India is $25, while it’s $150 in the US. However, outsourcing may also come with risks, such as communication difficulties, time zone differences, and potential language barriers.

On the other hand, local development may be more expensive, but it can also offer benefits such as easier communication, a better understanding of the local market, and the ability to work closely with the development team. According to a survey by Manifest, a business news and how-to website, 72% of small businesses prefer to work with local app development companies.

When deciding between outsourcing and local development, it’s important to consider factors such as the complexity of the project, the timeline, and the budget. If the project is relatively simple and has a tight budget, outsourcing may be the better option. However, if the project is complex and requires close collaboration with the development team, local development may be the better choice.

Ultimately, the decision between outsourcing and local development depends on the specific needs and requirements of each project. It’s important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best fits the project’s needs and budget.

Here is a table summarizing the pros and cons of outsourcing and local development.

Summing It Up

The blog explores the critical factors influencing the cost of developing a mobile app. It delves into the aspects of app complexity, platform choice (iOS or Android), design, development team location, and the need for regular maintenance and updates. It emphasizes that while app development can be a significant investment, it’s crucial for staying competitive in the digital landscape. Moreover, the blog highlights that ongoing maintenance and marketing expenses should be factored into the overall budget to ensure an app’s continued success.